Eat Beyond Global, Canada’s latest investment fund that was launched in February to focus on helping grow meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy alternative companies, expects the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic to further reduce consumer confidence in animal-based foods.
Animal-based products are being hard-hit by meat- and dairy-free alternatives, which have experienced meteoritic rise in value over the past decade, prompting a massive industry makeover not only by entrepreneurial brands such as Beyond Meat, but also traditional food giants including Tyson Foods and Danone.
Patrick Morris, CEO and director of Eat Beyond Global, believes the unabated trend will only attract more entrepreneurs to the plant-based space, and his company is looking to help them scale as a fundraising partner.
“Eat Beyond is the first investment fund of its kind in Canada, offering retail investors the opportunity to participate in the alternative, plant-based, and food [technology] space,” Morris, who has taken a number of companies public over the past decade as an entrepreneur and capital markets executive, wrote me via email.
The company has rallied a team of CPG and retail experts, including the co-founder of Choices Market, Lloyd Lockhart; CPG industry veteran with 29 years of experience, Diane Jang; and Alan Linder, who has expertise in food distribution, to evaluate about 100 companies globally for potential investment targets.
“We decided to create [Eat Beyond Global] because we realized that… the alternative food space is growing tremendously,” Morris said, citing a report from The Good Food Institute reveals over $17 billion has been invested in the sector to date, with 2018 seeing a 39% increase in the number of deals versus 2017.
Investment funds and incubators that are focused on plant-based foods are becoming increasingly common across North America, with Mark Rampolla co-founding PowerPlant Ventures in 2015, and meal kit company Purple Carrot launching The Garden Incubator this past December.
“This is driven by many factors, beyond just animal welfare,” Morris explained. “This includes the attractive health, environmental, and food security benefits related to plant-based alternatives.”
These benefits are expected to become more evident following the coronavirus outbreak, as the disease has shed light on “zoonosis,” he believes.
“Zoonosis describes the transfer of [a] disease from livestock and other animals to humans,” Morris said. “Most of our common diseases are of animal origin. For example, bird flu coms from domestic chickens and influenza originated in horses and pigs.”
What differentiates Eat Beyond Global from the rest of plant-focused funds lies in its ability of allowing retail investors to directly engage with brands.
“Many of the companies that are getting attention on the store shelves are privately held,” Morris said. “The average investor has very little opportunity to participate in the capital raises taking place in the sector at this point.
“This is where Eat Beyond Global comes in — our team of advisors and analysts vet and perform due diligence on each company so the retail investor can get involved in the growth with less of a risk factor.”
While the firm is still assessing all types of food alternatives, two areas that stand out include cellular agriculture, which only requires a single cell, instead of live animals, to produce meat, and the innovative uses of traditional plant-based ingredients to create new products, such as eggs made out of mung beans.
“There are many compelling new companies … [but] we look at companies on a case-by-case basis” when it comes to investments, Morris told me, noting Eat Beyond Global is generally targeting companies with run rates between $20 million to $200 million, and several companies developing cultured meat are still in the R&D process.
Eat Beyond Global is expected to invest in approximately 10 companies in the first six months since launch, and will likely double that number by the end of 2020.
Morris predicts the plant-based category will eventually consolidate through both private equity investments and M&A by large CPG companies.
“PE is currently very active in the space, but we are slowing seeing more IPOs and M&As,” he said.
Knightscope Opens Investment Opportunity to Canada – GlobeNewswire
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Knightscope, Inc., a developer of advanced physical security technologies utilizing fully autonomous robots focused on enhancing U.S. security operations, announced today that it is able to accept investments in support of the Company’s Regulation A+ Offering from Canadian investors through FrontFundr. FrontFundr is Canada’s leading online investment platform offering access to select private placements. Investments from the U.S. and other international markets are still available through StartEngine.
FrontFundr founder and CEO, Peter-Paul Van Hoeken stated, “I see Knightscope as a revolutionary deal where all North Americans, retail investors on both sides of the border, can invest in a North American growth company in the business of building technology to reduce crime.”
“Knightscope has received countless inquiries from our northern neighbors wanting to invest in our technologies,” said William Santana Li, chairman and CEO, Knightscope. “It is with great pleasure that we are able to finally announce the ability for retail Canadian investors to purchase shares online with our new friends at FrontFundr.”
PURCHASE SHARES IN KNIGHTSCOPE TODAY
Knightscope is currently accepting accredited and unaccredited investors from $1,000 to $10M completely online. Click here to invest today.
Knightscope is an advanced security technology company based in Silicon Valley that builds fully autonomous security robots that deter, detect and report. Our long-term ambition is to make the United States of America the safest country in the world. Learn more about us at www.knightscope.com. Follow Knightscope on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
FrontFundr is Canada’s leading online private markets investing platform and an exempt market dealer. It provides startups and growth companies access to capital and gives investors access to private companies they believe in and want to support. It provides a community of over 16,000 retail investors with the ability to review and complete private placements on one digital platform. The company’s revolutionary technology allows users across Canada to invest in innovative growth businesses in under 12 minutes, starting from as little as $250. To date it has helped more than 43 companies raise over $35 million.
Knightscope and www.knightscope.com are operated by Knightscope, Inc. Investment opportunities in the Reg A+ offering are not a public offering, are private placements, are subject to long hold periods, are illiquid investments and investors must be able to afford the loss of their entire principal. There is no guarantee that Knightscope will register its shares with the SEC or any stock exchange. Offers to buy or sell any security can only be made through official offering and subscription documents that contain important information about risks, fees and expenses. You should conduct your own due diligence including reviewing in detail the Offering Circular and consultation with a financial advisor, attorney, accountant, or other professional that can help you to understand the risks associated with the investment opportunity.
This release may contain forward-looking statements regarding Knightscope’s proposed public listing of its securities and the timing thereof, projected business performance, operating results, financial condition and other aspects of the company, expressed by such language as “expected,” “anticipated,” “projected” and “forecasted.” These statements also include estimates of the pace of customer adoption of the company’s products, engineering developments and prototype capabilities. Please be advised that such statements are intentions or estimates only and there is no assurance that the results stated or implied by forward-looking statements will actually be realized by the company, or that the company will be able to consummate its planned goals (including without limitation, a public listing of its securities). Forward-looking statements may be based on management assumptions that prove to be wrong. The Company’s predictions may not be realized for a variety of reasons, including due to inability to raise a sufficient amount of funds, a lack of marketability for the company’s securities, failure of business operations, competition, customer sales cycles, and engineering or technical issues, among others. The Company and its business are subject to substantial risks and potential events beyond its control that would cause material differences between predicted results and actual results, including the company incurring operating losses and experiencing unexpected material adverse events.
John Hills +1 289 962 1708
'Should we invest our 2020 TFSA now, or wait a few months?' – The Globe and Mail
Here’s how I handle my TFSA contributions – I divide the total amount for the year, currently $6,000, by 26 and then have that amount electronically transferred when I get paid every two weeks into a TFSA investment account.
A reader recently asked about TFSA contribution strategies for this year: “We have yet to invest in our TFSA for 2020. Should we go ahead and invest now, or should we wait for another few months when the economy will hopefully begin to pick up again?”
I have no idea at the best of times about when the best time to invest is. Now, I’m more baffled than ever. The economy has been damaged and prospects for a comprehensive reopening seem uncertain at best, given the differing medical outlooks across the provinces. Will companies bring back all the workers they laid off? How many businesses won’t reopen? How much will economic activity be down overall six to 12 months from now? What about all the debt deferrals people arranged – what happens when they have to resume their usual payments?
Our world today is so much different than it was in early February, before pandemic fears hammered the stock markets. And yet, the U.S. stock market has charged back to the point where it was off only about 10 per cent in late May from its 52-week high and well above its level of May 2019.
I don’t get it, and I won’t fight it. My biweekly TFSA contributions continue, just as they did when the markets plunged in March.
As to that reader question, I can only suggest the gradual approach to TFSA investing. Academic studies have shown that lump-sum investments outperform the gradual approach, known as dollar-cost averaging. But this year is off the charts – why guess what’s going to happen?
Subscribe to Carrick on Money
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Rob’s personal finance reading list…
Never refrigerate bread
Tips from Consumer Reports on how to extend food expiration dates. Cut waste, and visit the supermarket less. By the way, coffee shouldn’t go in the fridge, either. Flour should, though.
Inflation: How big a problem will it be?
A lot of readers have told me lately they worry about inflation being ignited by all the money the government is pumping into the economy to offset the effects of the pandemic. This guide to inflation, deflation and disinflation should set minds at ease, at least until the good times resume.
How to avoid retirement myopia
Way too much retirement advice is tossed out in a general way, even if the needs and priorities of each generation are different. Here’s a different take – retirement guidance for people 25 to 40, 41 to 55 and 56+.
Make your own Starbucks drinks at home
A personal finance blog shares some cheap and cheerful versions of tea, lemonade and coffee drinks.
Q: Why you haven’t recommended five-year GICs as a possible safe vehicle for a portion of retiree funds? I have $50,000 in one earning 3.25 per cent, a higher rate than one- or two-year GICs or a savings account. It’s true I purchased when GIC rates were higher, but the principle remains the same.
A: I have written a lot over the years about how GICs make a good substitute for bonds or bond funds in diversified portfolio – they’re not as liquid as bonds in that there are stiff fees if you sell early, but they don’t jump around in price like bonds can. GIC rates are also quite competitive with bonds. The best rate on a five-year guaranteed investment certificate in late May was 2.3 to 2.4 per cent, while the yield on the five-year Government of Canada bond was just 0.4 per cent.
Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.
Today’s financial tool
How to report wrongdoing by an investment adviser.
Tweet of the week
Evan Siddall, president and CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., takes on those who insist real estate prices can keep going up despite the economic damage caused by the pandemic.
In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories
- How advisers can help jobless Canadians avoid financial pitfalls
- Day-to-day banking proving to be a struggle for some isolated seniors
- A cottage agreement can make sharing a summer home simple
More Carrick and money coverage For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group. Send us an e-mail to let us know what you think of my newsletter. Want to subscribe? Click here to sign up.
Just How Good An Investment Is Renewable Energy? New Study Reveals All – Forbes
Renewable energy investments are delivering massively better returns than fossil fuels in the U.S., the U.K. and Europe, but despite this the total volume of investment is still nowhere near that required to mitigate climate change.
Those are some of the findings of new research released today by Imperial College London and the International Energy Agency, which analyzed stock market data to determine the rate of return on energy investments over a five- and 10-year period.
The study found renewables investments in Germany and France yielded returns of 178.2% over a five year period, compared with -20.7% for fossil fuel investments. In the U.K., also over five years, investments in green energy generated returns of 75.4% compared to just 8.8% for fossil fuels. In the U.S., renewables yielded 200.3% returns versus 97.2% for fossil fuels.
Green energy stocks were also less volatile across the board than fossil fuels, with such portfolios holding up well during the turmoil caused by the pandemic, while oil and gas collapsed. Yet in the U.S., which provided the largest data set, the average market cap in the green energy portfolio analyzed came to less than a quarter of the average market cap for the fossil fuel portfolio—$9.89 billion for the hydrocarbons versus $2.42 billion for renewables.
Speaking to Forbes.com, Charles Donovan, director of the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College and the report’s lead author, said: “The conventional wisdom says that investing in fossil fuels is more profitable than investing in renewable power. The conventional wisdom is wrong.”
In spite of the chaos seen in the fossil fuel markets in recent years and months, Donovan said that many investors were finding it hard to let go of hydrocarbons. “Many investors are sleepwalking through a technological disruption of the energy industry, preferring to believe in a fairyland where upstream oil and gas projects earn big risk-adjusted returns,” Donovan warned. “Those days are gone.”
Donovan also warned that, despite the impressive returns from renewables, such figures had “not triggered anywhere near the level of investment required” to decarbonize the economy and mitigate climate change.
This was a point addressed yesterday in a separate report from the IEA, which showed total global investment in energy down 20%—almost $400 billion—compared with last year, largely as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The IEA characterized the drop as “staggering in both its scale and swiftness, with serious potential implications for energy security and clean energy transitions.”
The IEA laid the blame for the collapse on lower demand for energy, lower prices and a rise in non-payment of bills, which were side effects of the pandemic.
“The crisis has brought lower emissions but for all the wrong reasons,” said Fatih Birol, IEA’s executive director. “If we are to achieve a lasting reduction in global emissions, then we will need to see a rapid increase in clean energy investment.”
Indeed, even before the coronavirus, global investment in green energy was falling well short of that necessary to hit the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to within 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. In order to achieve that, countries will need to at least double their annual investment in renewables compared to current levels, from around $310 billion to more than $660 billion, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency.
In answer to why investment in renewables remains relatively low despite apparently stellar returns, the Imperial College report noted that large asset managers and institutional investors such as pension funds required deeper liquidity than the renewables market currently held. “It is easier to allocate a meaningful percentage of their assets under management to renewables if the market is deep and liquid,” the report stated. “Currently, that is not the case.”
The authors attributed much of the uncertainty around renewables to the market being relatively young. “It is not surprising that many investors still consider the renewable power sector as a nascent area,” they wrote. “There are too few pure-play companies, too little information about those companies, and relatively short trading histories. While there is a body of literature developing on the specific investment risk factors associated with renewable energy, the body of empirical evidence remains limited.”
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